System Administration

Essential System Tools: GreenWithEnvy – NVIDIA graphics card utility

This series highlights essential system tools. These are small utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table in the summary section.

GreenWithEnvy (GWE) is a graphical system tool for NVIDIA graphics cards. This utility provides information about the card present in a system together with the ability to control its fans and overclock the GPU and memory.

GWE is free and open source software.

Installation

We tested the software on a fresh installation of Ubuntu 22.04. The developer recommends installing the utility from Flathub. Installation was plain-sailing all the way.

On our fresh Ubuntu, we first need to install Flatpak. Issue the command:

$ sudo apt install flatpak

Next, add the Flathub remote repository to our flatpak repository configuration.

$ flatpak --user remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org /repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

We can now install the software with the commands:

$ flatpak --user install flathub com.leinardi.gwe
$ flatpak update # this command wasn’t necessary on our Ubuntu 22.04 system.

Run the utility with the command:

$ flatpak run com.leinardi.gwe

The software is then added to Activities.

We also need to enable the overclocking and fan control functionality as they are not enabled by GWE itself. Note that overclocking can permanently damage your hardware if the system doesn’t have sufficient cooling. Overclocking is controlled via the Coolbits option in the Device section of Xorg.

In Operation

Here’s an image of GWE in action.

GreenWithEnvy
Click image for full size

The utility provides some general statistics including model name, driver version, gpu/memory/power usage, temperature and fan(s) speed.

What makes GWE so useful is that it gives you control of the graphics card. We can overclock the GPU and memory. We can also alter the power limit. This is helpful if you want to squeeze out more performance or even reduce your energy consumption. With our Asus GeForce RTX 3060 Ti OC Edition the minimum power draw is 100W.

The ASUS card we’re using provides a stop mode which halts both fans when the GPU temperature falls to 50 degrees C. But not all 3060 Ti’s provide this stop mode. And many other NVIDIA cards also lack this functionality. That’s when GWE steps in as it lets you define your own custom fan curve profiles.

Summary

If you come from a Windows background you’ll know there are a wide range of utilities that let you fully control NVIDIA cards.

GWE is an essential utility for Linux NVIDIA graphics card users given that tools such as MSI Afterburner and GPU Tweak II are Windows-only. While GWE only provides some of the tweaking possibilities that MSI Afterburner or GPU Tweak II offer, there’s enough functionality here for most users. It’s a worthy addition to our Essential System Utilities series.

The maintainer of GWE has stated that he may no longer be able to support this utility in the future. If you want to contribute to open source software and have a good knowledge of Python 3, take a look at the source code! If the developer does decide to step away, we’d love to see the project continue. At least that’s a possibility given the project is open source.

NVIDIA released open-source Linux GPU kernel modules in May 2022. Maybe NVIDIA could take the next step and either port GPU Tweak II to Linux, or contribute to GWE?

Website: gitlab.com/leinardi/gwe
Support:
Developer: Roberto Leinardi
License: GNU General Public License v3.0

GreenWithEnvy is written in Python. Learn Python with our recommended free books and free tutorials.


All the essential tools in this series:

Essential System Tools
AlacrittyInnovative, hardware-accelerated terminal emulator
BleachBitSystem cleaning software. Quick and easy way to service your computer
btop++Monitor usage and stats for CPU, memory, disks, network and processes
catfishVersatile file searching software
ClonezillaPartition and disk cloning software
CPU-XSystem profiler with both a GUI and text-based
CzkawkaFind duplicate files, big files, empty files, similar images, and much more
ddrescueData recovery tool, retrieving data from failing drives as safely as possible
dustMore intuitive version of du written in Rust
f3Detect and fix counterfeit flash storage
Fail2banBan hosts that cause multiple authentication errors
fdupesFind or delete duplicate files
FirejailRestrict the running environment of untrusted applications
GlancesCross-platform system monitoring tool written in Python
GPartedResize, copy, and move partitions without data
GreenWithEnvyNVIDIA graphics card utility
gtopSystem monitoring dashboard
gWakeOnLANTurn machines on through Wake On LAN
hyperfineCommand-line benchmarking tool
inxiCommand-line system information tool that's a time-saver for everyone
journalctlQuery and display messages from the journal
kmonManage Linux kernel modules with this text-based tool
KrusaderAdvanced, twin-panel (commander-style) file manager
NeofetchSystem information tool written in Bash
NmapNetwork security tool that builds a "map" of the network
nmonSystems administrator, tuner, and benchmark tool
nnnPortable terminal file manager that's amazingly frugal
petSimple command-line snippet manager
PingnooGraphical representation for traceroute and ping output
ps_memAccurate reporting of software's memory consumption
TimeshiftSimilar to Windows' System Restore functionality, Time Machine Tool in Mac OS
QDirStatQt-based directory statistics
QJournalctlGraphical User Interface for systemd’s journalctl
TLPMust-have tool for anyone running Linux on a notebook
UnisonConsole and graphical file synchronization software
VeraCryptStrong disk encryption software
VentoyCreate bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files
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